December 20, 2010

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By Kathryn Kopchik

LEWISBURG, Pa. — Three collaborative project teams at Bucknell University were honored recently with the Maxwell Award, presented annually to exceptional collaborative efforts of cross-functional groups, project teams and task forces.

Bucknell University Arboretum
Faculty and students from several departments including biology and geography collaborated with staff from facilities for three years to identify, measure and map more than 1,700 trees.

Using this data, the team created a walking tour highlighting most of the 90 species that can be found on campus. With assistance from Library and Information Technology, the team also created an online interactive map and other materials for use in teaching, research and public outreach.

"The arboretum is a terrific new educational resource for Bucknell and the surrounding community. It shows the campus commitment to biodiversity and sustainability, and it is also a living part of University history," said Bucknell University President John Bravman, who presented the awards on Dec. 17.

Engineering Success Alliance
The Engineering Success Alliance (ESA) began providing tutoring assistance this fall to first-year students who show great potential to be excellent engineering majors, but who did not have a strong high school education in mathematics and related skills.

The idea for ESA was inspired by a 1984 Bucknell civil engineering graduate George Pierson, CEO of the international engineering firm Parsons Brinckerhoff.

Representatives from the College of Engineering and the offices of Admissions, Academic Affairs, Communications, and Development and Alumni Relations, developed a plan backed by funding from Parsons Brinckerhoff and others.

"This fall, 14 students received support in developing their math and related skills that will be essential to their success as engineering students and as engineering professionals," Bravman said.

Dancing Mind Challenge
This project asked Bucknellians to commit to spending eight hours sustained hours reading.

Bucknell's Griot Institute for Africana Studies led the initiative, inspired by Toni Morrison's essay, "The Dancing Mind," which describes the personal and societal importance of being able to sit in a room by oneself with no distractions, only the companionship of one's own mind.

"The response to the Dancing Mind Challenge was tremendous," said Bravman, "with 118 Bucknell students, staff and faculty who pledged to unplug and read for eight hours on Nov. 20."

A number of offices collaborated with the Griot Institute in the challenge, including the Barnes & Noble at Bucknell University bookstore, Bucknell University Press, English Department, English Club, and the offices of Communications, Dining Services, Events Management, Library and IT, and Multicultural Student Services.

The Maxwell Award honors former Bucknell Vice President for Administration Barry Maxwell. Maxwell, who earned his bachelor's and master's degrees from Bucknell, joined the mechanical engineering faculty in 1963. Named dean of the College of Engineering in 1979, he became vice president for administration in 1986 and retired in 1998. Established in 1994 as the WOW awards, the award was renamed in his honor in 2000. || Previous recipients

Contact: Division of Communications


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